Salihu Tanko Yakasai: Local government autonomy – Let’s scrap the Senate (Y! Politico)

by Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Salihu Tanko Yakasai YNaija

The Governors and their collaborators in the senate hide behind “corruption” to not grant these local governments autonomy, how pathetic!!! Who are the biggest and most corrupt office holders in the land if not these Governors and these Senators?….

Once again, our senators have added yet another reason for us to call for the scrapping of the entire Senate as part of the legislative arm of government, with their decision by conniving with State Governors to kick against local government autonomy, in the ongoing constitutional amendment.

What these distinguished or is it “disgusting senators” need to learn, is that the local government system, which is supposed to be the third tier of government, predates the advent of colonialism, because the European masters met it in existence in what was known as “INDIRECT RULE” and it helped them tremendously in terms of asserting their authority down to the grassroots through our traditional rulers. Since then, the indirect rule now known as local government, underwent so many changes and transformation up to the stage where it was institutionalized and entrenched in our constitution, with section 7 of that constitution categorically stating that “the system of local government shall be guaranteed under DULY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES! Sadly, only about 11 states currently have elected representatives manning these local governments out of the 36 states of the federation. If this isn’t the height of indiscipline and total disregard of law, I don’t know what is.

Local government should be the most important tier of government simply because it is a vital link between the masses and their government, it is also the base of our existence. These senators are also the product of local governments because it gave birth to their constituencies that they are representing. Chairmen, State Assembly members, House of Representative members, Governors, Commissioners, Ministers and even the President of Nigeria are ALL products of their local governments. Our natural resources are all deposited in one local government or another, companies that pay taxes and generate revenue for the states and federation all are located in one local government or another, then why, for heavens sake is this important arm of government being treated pitifully?

I do not see any justification whatsoever, not to grant local governments FULL AUTONOMY. The Governors and their collaborators in the senate hide behind “corruption” to not grant these local governments autonomy, how pathetic! Who are the biggest and most corrupt office holders in the land if not these governors and senators? From 1999 to date, if you combine the money that the chairmen of 774 local governments in Nigeria have misappropriated, it will be like a drop in the ocean, compared to what James Ibori, (the former governor of Delta state) alone stole. How about our “disgusting senators” who share among themselves salaries, the highest in the world, with no single meaningful legislation that has come out of that chamber, yet they have the audacity to point an accusing finger at others! Even though corruption should not be condoned at all levels, by God, they have no moral justification to accuse someone of corruption and embezzlement, it is indeed the height of hypocrisy to even think of that, let alone murmur it.

These past few weeks have really been an eye opener for us, for we have been exposed to the criminality that these Senators engage in, from inhumane policies that are anti-people, to the outrageous salaries they take away without having anything to show for it, down to the extortion they engage in, from parastatals and other government agencies in the name of defending their budgets. These are just few of the things we know, what other things they do that we are not even aware of, only God knows. What kinda message are they sending to the younger generations? That once you are a Senator then you become immuned to scrutiny and have a blank cheque to do and say whatever you want to, regardless of how unpopular that is with the masses?

No I’m furious and I’m mad. I’m flabbergasted and utterly in shock to say the least. For this is heartbreaking, disheartening and nerve wrecking. I want nothing short of scrapping of the senate COMPLELTELY, and so should all well meaning Nigerians! I do not see any legitimate reason to retain them, and I absolutely believe I’m speaking for the majority of Nigerians on this. Their existence is part of the reasons why our democracy is one of the most expensive in the world, and scraping them will go a long way in cutting down this unnecessary wastefulness of a democracy we are practicing. Let each and every Nigerian add his or her voice to this call, if they feel that local governments should not be given FULL AUTONOMY, then we have news for them, we also feel they should NOT exist entirely. To he__, with these disgusting senators!


Tanko Yakasai is a proud husband and father of two. He is a broadcaster with Freedom Radio, Kano. Yakasai believes in the unity and development of Nigeria, which paved his way into community activities through NGOs in transforming our society for the better. He is a registered member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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